Space Preparatory Commission


Pursuant to Resolution 1 of the diplomatic Conference for the adoption of the draft Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters specific to Space Assets (Berlin, 27 February - 9 March 2012), a Preparatory Commission was set up to act as Provisional Supervisory Authority for the establishment of the International Registry for Space Assets under the guidance of the UNIDROIT General Assembly.


The first session of the Preparatory Commission was held at the seat of UNIDROIT in Rome on 6 and 7 May 2013, under the Chairmanship of the delegate of Italy Sergio Marchisio, professor and former Chairman of the Commission of the Whole at the Berlin Conference. The following States agreed to serve as members of the Preparatory Commission: Brazil, the People’s Republic of China, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Italy, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the United States of America. A number of other participants and representatives of the financial and commercial world attended the session as observers. In particular, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) accepted to join the Commission and confirmed its interest in considering the matter of its becoming the Supervisory Authority subject to the conditions already set forth in Resolution 2 of the Final Act of the Diplomatic Conference in Berlin.


The Preparatory Commission appointed two Working Groups, one entrusted with the development of rules for the International Registry for Space Assets (Chairman Igor Porokhin) and the other with the drafting of a request for proposals for the selection of a Registrar (Chairman Bernhard Schmidt-Tedd). The Commission invited Sir Roy Goode to produce, with the assistance of Secretariat of UNIDROIT and on the basis of comments received by the members of the Preparatory Commission, a first draft of the Registry Regulations accompanied by an Explanatory Memorandum clearly indicating the open points where input from industry and other experts would be most needed. Both documents were circulated in time to receive comments from delegates and observers and to prepare updated drafts for discussion at the second session of the Preparatory Commission.
>>> Report on the session


The second session of the Preparatory Commission was held in Rome on 27 and 28 February 2014 (once again under the Chairmanship of Sergio Marchisio) and considered the revised draft of the Registry Regulations and the accompanying explanatory report prepared by Sir Roy Goode. It was opened by a visit of the premises of Thales Alenia Space Italia organised with the purpose of gathering useful inputs from the industry. At the outcome of the session an agreement in principle was reached on the vast majority of the provisions of the draft Registry Regulations, whilst the remaining open questions were the object of a further revised document by Sir Roy Goode circulated for comments in May 2014 (in particular the post-launch criteria to identify satellites where no serial number is available as well as the identifiability of separate parts of a space asset such as transponders). Members of the Preparatory Commission were encouraged to exchange further thoughts and information during the inter-sessional period, with the view to present a completed draft for final approval by the next meeting of the Commission.


During the second session of the Preparatory Commission the representatives of ITU reaffirmed the interest of their organisation for accepting the role of Supervisory Authority for the future Registry for space assets. They informed the Preparatory Commission on the forthcoming ITU meetings during which the question would be discussed, that is the Council meeting (May-June) and the meeting of the Conference of Plenipotentiaries (October-November). To facilitate the preparation of a report for the Council meeting the UNIDROIT Secretariat prepared a memorandum clarifying the precise role of the Supervisory Authority as well as liability issues in response to the questions posed by the representatives of ITU.
>>> Report on the session


In the inter-sessional period the Draft Registry Regulations were revised by Sir Roy Goode in the lights of detailed comments from Preparatory Commission members as well as input from the industry acquired during a visit to the premises of SES in Luxembourg.


The third session of the Preparatory Commission took place on 11 and 12 September 2014 at the seat of UNIDROIT in Rome. The Commission finalised the text of the Regulations but for the issue of the identification criteria for parts of spacecrafts, for which a quick consultation procedure on an agreed draft text was suggested in order to receive further insights from the practical operators in the market. The consultation is expected to take place before the end of 2014. On the basis of the results of the consultations the Preparatory Commission will decide on its next steps to ensure final approval of the Regulations. In addition, the Commission discussed the first draft of an “Invitation to participate in the solicitations for the International Registry for space assets”. Finally, the ITU representative reported of the positive outcome of the ITU Council that was held in May 2014 whilst reiterating the interest of ITU to be considered the natural candidate for the role of Supervisory Authority of the future Space Registry.
>>> Report on the session


The fourth session of the Preparatory Commission for the establishment of the International Registry for Space Assets was held in Rome on  10 and 11 December 2015. The Commission successfully finalised the text of the Registry Regulations as amended by Sir Roy Goode following consultations with the Industry and relevant stakeholders. The Preparatory Commission also addressed issues concerning the selection of a Registrar and the appointment of a Supervisory Authority.
>>> Report on the session



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